A Conduct Curriculum for the Kindergarten and First Grade

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Page xx - The pre-school period is biologically the most important period in the development of an individual for the simple but profound reason that it comes first. Coming first in a dynamic sequence, it inevitably influences all subsequent development. These years determine character, much as the foundation and frame determine a structure.
Page xix - ... worth of work for a dollar. Originality must not mean weakness in doing routine work in old ways, or any essential dislike of traditional knowledge or customs as such, or any paucity of fixed habits, — but strength in doing work that is new or doing it in new ways, an attitude of hoping to change knowledge or practice for the better, an organization of habits that causes their progressive modification. . . . Finally, will it not clear the whole argument somewhat if, in our thinking about education,...
Page xxi - The tacit assumption is that it is not an educational period at all. Psychologically nothing could be more erroneous than such an assumption. In a certain sense the amount of mental growth which takes place in the first sexennium of life far exceeds anything which the child achieves in any subsequent period.
Page xx - It is my privilege to know a fair number of original thinkers and workers in science, medicine, the ministry, law, and business. Such men are extraordinarily competent in routine work and extraordinarily strong in mere knowledge. The most original children of my acquaintance are so not by any denial of the claims of mere lessonlearning and skill-acquiring in traditional ways. On the contrary, they could beat the pedants and hacks of equal age at their own games.
Page xxi - The younger the creature the more rapid its growth. When measured by percentage of increment in weight and height, the growth activity of the first six years is incomparably greater than that for any subsequent period of six years. The individual begins as a fertilized ovum weighing about half of a milligram. By the time of birth the growth...
Page xviii - Psychologists will pardon this verbal change, if by the use of the term we get over to the public the idea that education must set as its objective the changed child — the child in which desirable changes in thought, feeling, and conduct are sought and achieved day by day, until habit and character have been established.
Page xvi - NY of each aspect of the curriculum, not as a formal school subject, but as a social situation rich in activities and experiences leading to the formation of desirable habits, avoids a danger which we had realized from the first; that is, of teaching habits out of their organic relation to situations . . . When conduct is acquired in a social situation, it not only takes on meaning but is likely to be associated in the mind of the child with a sense of satisfaction or pleasure. A few of the "civic...
Page xiv - Since the term, behavior, has acquired certain technical meanings in its use by psychologists, and since it will be frequently used in this book, the meaning which will be attached to it here should perhaps be stated. I use it to refer to those activities of thought, feeling, and conduct in the broadest sense which an animal — here, man — exhibits, which are omitted from discussion by the physics, chemistry, and ordinary physiology of today, and which are referred by popular usage to intellect,...
Page xxi - Give me the young!" and Professor Patty Hill adds point to this expression by saying: "When the wasted possibilities of these earlier years of childhood are utilized, and thought and feeling are transformed into desirable behavior, 'a Great Society' may not be a dream but a prophecy based on a reasonable hope.
Page xi - ... mental and emotional life of children should direct the teacher. They hold that the position of teacher is that of guide rather than dictator. His duty is to observe the spontaneous activities of children and to act accordingly. According to this viewpoint, the kindergarten teacher should be looked upon as the mature member of a social group of immature beings, in which her wider experience, wiser judgment, greater knowledge and technique are at the disposal of the children, when there is need...

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